PoliticsMidterm Elections


Romney Is Coasting To A Utah Senate Seat. How Will He Deal With Trump?

Mitt Romney said in an op-ed he plans to call out the president for "divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest" acts.
Posted at 10:39 AM, Jun 26, 2018

Mitt Romney is in the heavy favorite in Utah's Senate race. And his current campaign gives us some hints about what kind of Republican the former never-Trumper will be if and when he gets to Washington.

In a recent op-ed for The Salt Lake Tribune, Romney said he would be supportive of the president's policies when they were good for Utah, but that, "I have and will continue to speak out when the president says or does something which is divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions."

This isn't surprising at all, since Romney is the OG Never Trump. The two seemed to eventually patch things up, but Romney has continued to be outspoken on the president's rhetoric. 

"If he's elected, it looks like he's going to come in as not a Never Trumper but an OK Trumper. He'll be somewhat between a cross of Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake. He'll be critical as well as be supportive of things like tax policy," Thomas Burr, the Salt Lake Tribune's Washington, D.C., bureau chief, told Newsy recently. 

For reference, Flake is one of the president's biggest GOP critics in Congress, while Graham has shown a willingness to work with Trump while still speaking out against some of the president's rhetoric.

Romney's approach is something other congressional Republicans have had trouble pulling off, especially in deep red Trump-supporting states. But Romney is especially popular in Utah, leading his nearest Republican challenger 65 percent to 23 percent in a recent poll taken ahead of Utah's GOP primary. So he can afford to criticize Trump without worrying about a massive voter revolt. 

Romney is expected by just about everyone to sail to victory come November. And by the looks of things now, he probably isn't going to change his approach when it comes to Trump anytime soon. 

"It's where Romney can look like the statesman if he gets elected, and Trump will be Trump," Burr said.